Charlie Elphicke: Ex-Tory MP released from prison after serving half his sentence for sex assault

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Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has been released from prison after serving half his sentence for sexually assaulting two women.

The ex-Dover MP was jailed for two years in September 2020 after he was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault following a month-long trial.

The Ministry of Justice confirmed he was freed on Tuesday.

It is understood the 50-year-old former lawyer was serving the final part of his sentence at HMP Leyhill in Gloucestershire.

Six months ago, Elphicke lost an appeal against his jail term after his lawyers argued the sentence was too long and should have been suspended.

He was described by the sentencing judge as a "sexual predator" who used his "success and respectability as a cover" and told a "pack of lies".

His trial heard how he asked one of his victims about sex and bondage, then kissed and groped her breast before chasing her around his home saying: "I'm a naughty Tory."

Following his appeal, his wife of 25-years Natalie Elphicke, who split from him after his conviction, divorced him.

She was voted in as his replacement in Dover in 2019 after he stood down, and following the case, she was one of five Tories who were found to have breached the code of conduct over an "egregious" attempt to influence the legal proceedings.

Mrs Elphicke, Sir Roger Gale and Theresa Villiers were suspended from the House of Commons for a day.

The three MPs, along with Bob Stewart and Adam Holloway, had written to senior judiciary members raising concerns a more junior judge was considering publishing character references provided for Mr Elphicke during the trial.

Elphicke was a government whip under David Cameron and returned to the backbenches when Theresa May became prime minister in 2016.

He had the party whip suspended in 2017 after the sexual assault allegations first emerged and it was controversially reinstated a year later as Mrs May faced a confidence vote.

When the Crown Prosecution Service announced it was charging Elphicke, the whip was removed again.

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